COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - One local restaurateur is temporarily shutting down several of his downtown Colorado Springs businesses after they were moved to 25 percent capacity last week.
Joe Campana shut down five of his six businesses Monday: The Rabbit Hole, Bonny & Read, Cork & Cask, Shame & Regret, and Supernova Bar and Arcade. He told KRDO Tuesday he plans to keep his coffee shop, STIR, open for now.
The Colorado Department of Public Health (CDPHE) enacted Safer at Home Level 3 restrictions on El Paso County last Friday. That means all restaurants, bars that serve food, gyms, places of worship, offices, retail, and personal services (like salons) dropped to 25% capacity indoors.
Campana said 25% just wasn't going to cut it for his other restaurants -- also citing a recent spike in food costs and the low margin for restaurants.
In addition, Campana said he's had nearly 30 cases of COVID-19 run through his staff over the last six months, and he's worried about the health of his employees.
120 workers across all four restaurants are now filing for unemployment.
Meanwhile, CDPHE told us it's refraining from enacting a Stay at Home order to try and protect businesses like Campana's.
In a statement to KRDO, health officials wrote the following:
"A statewide Stay At Home can have devastating impacts on Colorado families that can result in even poorer health outcomes. The impacts are disproportionate as some Coloradans in lower wage jobs cannot telecommute, for example. It's why we want to implement every conceivable strategy before more extreme restrictions."
Campana told us -- while he thinks the current restrictions are doing quite the damage already -- he understands where the health department is coming from.
"When you start to weigh out economy over lives, it's a tough decision," Campana told KRDO. "It's not a decision I want to make. At the end of the day, cases are rising and there's nothing we can do about it."
CDPHE encourages everyone to keep washing their hands, wearing a mask and social distancing to stop the spread of the virus.
Campana said he hopes to reopen all of his restaurants when things are better here COVID-wise.